Almost 8,000 children in Guyana infected with COVID since March 2020

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A total of 7,831 children in Guyana have been infected with the deadly COVID-19 disease since March 2020, the Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony reported on Monday.

Of that total, 55 children required hospitalisation, having contracted a more severe form of the disease, and of that number, 17 children died.

Minister Anthony said that while the vaccination numbers for the age 12-18 cohort is high, health officials cannot administer the vaccines to children without first having permission from their parents or guardians.

“And that is one of the big challenges here, is that a lot of children have not received explicit permission from the parents,” Dr. Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update on Monday.

As such, the Health Minister pleaded with parents to weigh the benefits of the vaccine and allow their children to get the jab.

“Parents need to give consent for us to do this administration of vaccines so we are really appealing to parents to give that consent so that we can protect your child.

“We want to have more programmes in the school system to make sure that we can have vaccination but we can only give these vaccines if the child comes back with permission to say that they have received parental consent, so I am hoping that parents understand the seriousness of getting their child immunized,” the Health Minister appealed.

Dr. Anthony reminded that a “minority” of Guyana’s young population can experience a severe form of the disease as seen by the 17 deaths already recorded in children.

Thus far, the Ministry of Health has administered 32,873 first doses (45.1%) and 23,383 (32.1%) to children in the 12-18 cohort.

And the government is actively working to source vaccines for children in the five to 11 age category.

Meanwhile, for the country’s adult population, 426,317 first doses (83.1%) along with 317,772 second doses (61.9%) have been administered.

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